Nominations for the December 20 Capitol Choices agenda will be due at 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 12. Nominations for the 2014 List will still be accepted for the January 17 meeting as long as the books were published in 2013. The last date for any nominations of 2013 books will be on January 9, 2014.
Flora, a pig with a heart born for adventure, gets more than her share as part of a shipwrecked expedition to Antarctica where her loyalty and determination to be part of a team turn out to be more important than her food potential. Charming, humorous fantasy about making your dreams come true, just right for readers who still have a place in their hearts for talking animals. This would be a great read-aloud. K. Isaacs
Set in Victorian London, this story about Sam, a boy who talks to ghosts and who is often asked by them to set their unfinished affairs in order, brims with horror, humor and adventure. A Black Rot infestation is filling houses whose ghosts have mysteriously disappeared. When Sam refuses to help a rogue ghost boy’s efforts to save London from this Black Rot, his murderous uncle Jack (think “the Ripper”) shows up just in time to “help” supply ghosts for the empty houses. Lapsewood, a hapless bureaucrat from the Ghost Bureau is also on the case. Filled with vile characters, bumbling ghosts, rogue ghosts, an exorcist, and a young lady who aspires to be an investigative reporter, this book has something for everyone (as long as you don’t mind a few murders here and there.) Ten to fourteen. Lisa Cosgrove-Davies.
This “scientists in the field” title is a suspenseful account of the work of the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, a collection of scientists who monitor potential explosions in hopes of warning people in time to avoid being killed by an volcanic eruption. Concentrating particularly on explosions of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines and Mt. Merapi in Indonesia, it offers a fine demonstration of how the work of geologists in the field can save human lives. Kathy Isaacs
In 1891 a compassionate pastor provided food and shelter for orphans he found by the train tracks. Those orphans in turn exceeded the pastor's biggest dreams! They studied music and practiced on instruments donated by the community (instruments formerly played by Confederate soldiers!)eventually creating their own jazz, ragtime music inspired by the orphan's gechee and Gullah ancestors. The Jenkins Orphanage Band played at President Teddy Roosevelt's inaugural parade as well as for King George V in London! A story that needs to be shared. Seven to Ten. Anne Womack
This is the life of a little cloud who plays hide and seek between skyscrapers and cozily naps on the moon's curve. Carter's peaceful, slow and relaxed reading matches the fanciful mood of the book. Includes additional comical voices for the other characters in the story and background nature noises that correspond with the illustrations. Track 3 offers a song about Cloudette but it doesn't mirror the text. AUDIOBOOK Anne Womack
This is the alphabet presented as a collection of careers and occupations such as acrobats, builders and my personal favorite...yogis in a pose! Pleasant, happy narrative voice with enthusiastic children's voices shouting out each letter. Includes a helpful ding sound to alert children when to turn the page. An additional track is the text of the book in song format written and performed by the narrator. [Audiobook] Anne Womack
This clever approach to naming fifty animals and showing their size relationships follows a small frog to the penultimate large elephant waiting to climb aboard the biggest of all, a whale, for its “jumbo coaster” ride (revealed on facing fold-out double-spreads). Birds keep them in line while they play Word Chain with animal names, and pithy, humorous comments connect the animals pictured on ample white space allowing readers to see their features. Up to Seven. Lynda Adamson